How Clouds Affect Solar

While solar panels generate the most electricity on clear days with abundant sunshine (not surprisingly), they continue to work when the weather turns cloudy. On a cloudy day, typical solar panels can produce 10-25% of their rated capacity. The exact amount will vary depending on the density of the clouds, and may also vary by […] Read more

What is the Life Expectancy of a Solar Module?

When customers invest in a solar system, they often wonder how long their modules will continue to provide energy and how much they will yield over time. Over the years, all solar panels will degrade somewhat, but crystalline silicon panels have a much slower rate of degradation than thin film modules. This means crystalline modules […] Read more

Solar Impulse Airplane: SunPower Inside

Remember the remarkable solar plane that surpassed a 24-hour test flight? If you do, great! If you don’t, then sit tight because I promise to fill you in. In a previous post back in April, I had written about a solar aircraft prototype, whose team of creators agreed to an ambitious goal after the success […] Read more

How Many Solar Panels Fit on NYC’s Public Schools?

Enough to power about 170,000 typical American homes. According to a recent report from the Office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan (OPBM): “Installation of solar panels on the rooftops of 1,094 public school buildings in New York City could host 169.46 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity and eliminate 76,696 tons of carbon from […] Read more

Can Solar Panels Work at Night?

Some questions have definite answers. Others will always have possibilities. It has been acknowledged over the years that solar panels work best during the day when the sun is out and unobstructed. At nighttime and during the winter season, less sunlight reaches the panels and converts to energy. The good news is that there really […] Read more

American Solar Manufacturers Oppose Solar Tariffs

Awaiting a key U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) decision, American solar manufacturers are speaking out against SolarWorld’s campaign to raise tariffs on imported Chinese solar cells. Manufacturers including Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor, GT Advanced Technologies, MEMC, REC Silicon, and Suntech America believe that free trade and global competition are good for the American solar […] Read more

Serbia to Have World’s Largest Solar Park

It’s a fact that Europe is among the leading continents to involve itself so deeply in renewable energy. With Germany and the United Kingdom making strides in wind and solar power, it’s now the turn of Serbia to do the same. The landlocked country has just signed a memorandum to construct what is billed to […] Read more

DIY Solar: Make Your Own Diode-Based Solar Panels

Thing needed to make diode based solar panel 1. Multimeter 2. Switching diodes 3. Halogen lamp 4. Breadboard Steps to make diode 1. Knowing Diodes Diodes are the small components essentially present in each section of electronic equipment. They allow the flow of electricity only in one direction just like valve in a circuit. Diodes […] Read more

PV Prices: Finally Stabilizing?

At least one analyst is starting to see signs that solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing is coming closer to meeting—not exceeding demand. If so, it could help the industry recover from the gyre they’ve in for the last two-to-three years. Right now the beleaguered industry has suffered from too many manufacturers across the world boosting their […] Read more

Solar Panel Prices to Drop 70% by 2020!

Despite what some opponents of solar energy would have you believe, the industry isn’t sputtering to a stop in a classic display of boom and bust. Like any relatively new industry, there are periods of awkward growth, or “growing pains” as the new McKinsey and Company report “Solar Power: Darkest Before Dawn” plainly states. In […] Read more

DOE Backs Plug and Play Solar

The U.S DOE  has pledged $5 million toward the development of plug and play photovoltaic systems that can be installed in just a day. At present, a majority of the public are hesitant about purchasing PVs owing to relatively expensive cost in terms of upfront payments and tricky installation. The Energy Department’s funding will seek […] Read more

The 4 Most Surprising Places You’ll Find Solar Power

Since starting to write for this blog, I’ve become more attuned to solar PV installations all around me … and they really are everywhere, along with cool solar products, references to renewable energy (especially with Earth Day coming up this month) and exciting new solar technologies. I laughed out loud when I realized I was […] Read more

Solar: Leasing vs. Buying

Look out! The Solar Leasing Police are on the prowl and they think you’re an idiot for leasing a solar system instead of buying it. Are you? Well, first, we absolutely detest the condescending paternalism of the anti-leasing crowd many of whom we’re guessing probably don’t even have solar themselves (could it be because they […] Read more

Silicon: Not the Only Cheap Solar Component Anymore

In the quest for more efficient and lower cost components in solar energy production, silicon might lose market share. Lux Research released a report this week revealing that two compounds new to the electronics market are edging into silicon’s territory. Silicon Carbide and Gallium Nitride are expected to gain up to 22 percent market share […] Read more